In 2000, the International Standards Organisation (ISO) approved the development of an International Standard for Arctic Offshore Structures. Canada, having active committees in place for such an activity, took the initiative to propose and coordinate the new work item to ISO. In response to the Canadian initiative, in 2002 the ISO Technical Committee 67 (TC67), Sub-Committee 7 (SC7 - Offshore Structures) approved the development of a new standardentitled " Petroleum and natural gas industries - Arctic offshore structures??. In addition, the developers of the new standard were tasked with the secondary objective to harmonise existing international offshore codes and standards related to Arctic structures.

SC7 established Working Group 8 (WG8) in response to this approval and WG8 held its first meeting in July 2002, in Toronto, Canada. All countries with regions in ice covered waters, or with an interest in these regions, were requested to provide country representatives and technical experts to staff both WG8 and the Technical Panels formed by WG8 to actually prepare the document.

The technical work was initiated in 2003 and the completed document, ISO 19906 Arctic Offshore Structures, is scheduled to be approved by the ISO member countries in late 2010.

The approved Standard specifies requirements and provides recommendations and guidance for the design, construction, transportation, installation, and removal of offshore structures, related to petroleum and natural gas activities in arctic and cold regions. The objective of the document is to ensure that offshore structures in arctic and cold regions provide an appropriate level of reliability with respect to personnel safety and environmental protection to the owner and to society in general. While the document does not apply specifically to mobile offshore drilling units, the procedures relating to ice actions and ice management contained herein are applicable to the assessment of such units.

This paper provides a brief history of the document preparation as it relates to country and industry involvement, development of technical input, editing and review processes undertaken and acceptance of the document by ISO and its participating members.

Background and incentive

By 2000, several factors emerged that together provided the incentive for the development of a new and global standard for arctic offshore structures. The formation of an international working group was proposed to develop an International Standard which would harmonise existing regional and national codes and standards and also update the provisions to include the latest agreed knowledge and technologies. Countries participating in WG8 agreed to view the new ISO Standard as a replacement for their existing codes and standards.

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